Bethany Songbook presents: Summer Solstice Concert with Jazz Trumpet Great, Ted Daniel
June 29 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm$20
Join us June 29th for a Summer Solstice Concert with the revered jazz trumpeter, cornetist and composer, Ted Daniel.
Captivating, vibrant, revolutionary — these are just a few of the words used to describe Ted Daniel. A gifted and critically acclaimed trumpeter, Ted’s style has been described as “avant garde” however he to embraces the traditional and the new, with performances ranging from solo to big band. His music transcends conventional ideas about jazz, resulting in a completely unique and pleasurable listening experience. He is a melodic player who experiments with all forms of jazz music, producing extraordinary results every time. For now, he’s the genre’s best-kept secret.
The Ossining, New York native was just eight years old when his father, a saxophone player with their local church, gave him a trumpet. What began as an introduction later became a love affair when Ted was floored by a Clifford Brown record at 14. He recalls, “I had never heard anybody play trumpet like that…I said, ‘That’s what I wanna do.’” He continued to hone his craft, studying the greats of the music like Lee Morgan, Booker Little, Bill Dixon and John Coltrane, among others.
ABOUT TED DANIEL
Ted received brief formal training during stints at prestigious institutions like the Berklee School of Music, Southern Illinois University, and Central State in Ohio. Ted eventually received his bachelors of music from the City College of New York and a Masters Degree in clinical social work from Hunter College in New York City. Initially, he was less than impressed with the academia experience. “I just wanted to play and I knew the restrictive school setting was not ideal for me to develop my musical voice.” He opted to return to New York in 1965 to join his former Berklee School of Music colleagues; the late acclaimed guitarist Sonny Sharrock, Byard Lancaster and Dave Burrell. But his entry into the legitimate jazz scene was short-lived when he was drafted and found himself on a two-year tour of duty with U-S Army bands, one of which was spent in Vietnam. Upon his return, he attended Central State College in Ohio before returning to New York to resume his professional recording career.
He began with a guest appearance on Sharrock’s 1968 album Black Woman. A year later, Ted recorded with Brute Force, a jazz-funk outfit he put together which reunited him with Sharrock. Brute Force also featured Stanley Strickland (tenor saxophone), Sidney Smart (drums), Tim Ingles (bass), Arthur Brooks (also on trumpet) and Daniel’s older brother Richard (keyboards). Their self-titled debut (destined to be their lone release) was produced by Herbie Man on the Embryo label.
1972 saw the release of his solo debut, Ted Daniel Sextet, a live recording from a concert at Columbia University two years prior. Released on his own Ujamaa label, Sextet showcased the musician’s unique style of improvisation and grabbed listeners with its angular, energetic compositions. The set helped put him on the map as a featured artist and his collaborations with the likes of Dewy Redman, Andrew Cyrille, Archie Shepp and Sam Rivers earned him further respect among members of the jazz community.
Daniel’s next recording was 1974’s Tapestry, released on the Paris-based imprint Sun Records. The album displayed Ted’s flair for experimentation and variation. He says, “It was very different than the first album. The music weaves gently in and out of colors as opposed to the angular, intense acoustic set of the Ted Daniel Sextet album. The music was more melodic and metered.” The project encompassed electric piano, vibes, electric fretless bass and drums. A true gem, it is the only recording that features Ted solely on flugelhorn.
As a child, Ted’s interest in the big band sound was sparked after hearing the Count Basie Orchestra in concert. The power and cohesion of a large group impressed Ted greatly and later influenced his musical concepts. Eventually, he would work with Sam Rivers and it was during that time that Ted gained experience leading a large group. In 1975 he put together his own company of musicians collectively known as Energy. Energy began as a weekly workshop that provided a forum for up-and-coming musicians to compose and hear their music. Several of these musicians would become some of the jazz world’s most highly regarded artists, such as Oliver Lake, David Murray, Arthur Blythe, Charles Tyler and Ahmed Abdullah. Several of the inimitable sessions Energy recorded were finally revealed to the world when Ted released the Energy CD in 1998.
Just as Ted began to make a name for himself, a shift in the jazz landscape brought lean times in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. But his dedication and unconditional love for the craft helped him continue to gain new fans by playing in groups featuring Andrew Cyrille and Henry Threadgill.
In 2000, Ted was included among a select group of musicians to appear on Billy Bang’s Vietnam the Aftermath. Released in 2001 via Just in Time Records, the groundbreaking project was comprised mostly of players who had served in the Vietnam War. In addition to Ted and Bang, other Viet Nam veterans on the album included Michael Carvin, Butch Morris, Ron Brown and the late saxophonist Frank Lowe. Additional personnel included Curtis Lundy and the late John Hicks. The project’s critical acclaim helped Ted launch a new phase of his career. He re-released The Ted Daniel Sextet in 2005, which received the “Best Reissue” honor from All About Jazz.
While touring internationally in support of Aftermath, Ted continued to refocus on his own music and in 2004, he put together a four-piece band consisting only of brass and membrane instruments appropriately dubbed the International Brass and Membrane Corporation. More rhythmic and harmonious than his earlier solo offerings, Ted describes the music as “free-flowing. I’m trying to keep it loose but also keep it melodic. It’s fun doing that. I enjoy that group.” Presently, the set consists of Charles Burnham (violin), Joseph Daley (tuba) and Newman Taylor Baker (percussion). Ted covers an assortment of brass instruments, including trumpet, cornet and flugel horn.
In 2006, Ted and Marcus re-teamed for the Duology project, a two-man operation featuring horns from the brass and woodwind families. Released later that year, their self-titled debut earned favorable reviews. Ted explains, “What makes the music important and interesting is you don’t have a drum to keep time, nor do you have a bass to play the chords out. So everything is done between the two of us.” It makes for an exciting musical challenge. “What it does is make one listen to the other person very intently. You’re very exposed as an instrumentalist because there’s nothing but just the two of you talking, so to speak. It’s a musical conversation. I really enjoy the concept and as we play together, we get better and better.”
In 2007, Ted moves to the next plateau in his extensive, respected career, focusing on IBMC and Duology. A debut disc from IBMC is expected by the end of 2007, as is the sophomore effort from Duology. He plans to tour with both groups in 2008, appearing at concerts and festivals stateside and abroad.
A clout-carrying veteran of the industry, making good music is all Ted Daniel knows, which is lucky for jazz fans everywhere.